Background. The Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health is a school-based study designed to test the effectiveness of dietary, physical activity, and educational interventions for reducing cardiovascular disease risk and teaching healthful behaviors to children. Methods. As part of a pilot phase in 1989, lipid, lipoprotein, and anthropometric measures were taken in black (n = 90), Hispanic (n = 68), and white (n = 265) 8- to 10-year-old schoolchildren in California, Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas. Results. There were no significant differences in mean lipoprotein cholesterol values between fasting and nonfasting children. Therefore data from fasting and nonfasting children were pooled. Males and females within the same ethnic groups had similar mean levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. However, levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were higher among white and black males than among females from the same ethnic groups. Black males had higher total cholesterol than white males and higher high-density lipoprotein cholesterol than white males and Hispanic males. Similarly, black females had higher high-density lipoprotein cholesterol than white and Hispanic females. In all children combined high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was inversely correlated and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol was positively correlated with subscapular and tricep skinfold thickness, weight, and body mass index. There were significant differences in mean lipoprotein cholesterol levels between geographic sites. Total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were highest in children from California followed by children from Texas, Minnesota, and Louisiana. Conclusion. Our results suggest that body fatness total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol differ in children by gender, ethnicity, and geographic location.